It’s already been more than a week since last episode’s unfortunate leak but I’m still in shock about the events in that one.
A caveat right off the bat, this list has SPOILERS GALORE. So if you haven’t watched the latest episode, which is Season 7, episode 6, titled “Beyond the Wall” turn back now. Otherwise, it’ll be a cold day in Sansa’s already perpetually stressed nethers…
Still reading? Good. I hope you’re ready to get stuff articulated off your chest. Let’s tackle some of the biggest plot issues, logical inconsistencies (in a damn medieval fantasy series), and downright WTF moments that beggar plausibility in that episode.
I enjoyed every minute of it.
WORST. PLAN. EVER.
Dondarion, Thoros of Myr, and Tormund Giantsbane set out from Castle Eastwatch-by-the-Sea to—I kid you not—bring back a still “living” wight to Cersei to show her that the threat from the dead is real and somehow convince her from there to put aside the immediate threat of being usurped by a Targaryen.
Fans have dubbed this group the Westerosi Magnificent 7 (let’s not forget the three, or was it four, couriers that were left conveniently unnamed and therefore immediately expendable) and some have dubbed it the stupidest kind of assault group to ever be formed by an RPG noob. Let’s put aside the fact that there’s only one healer (Thoros) in this party, but the plan of search-and-grab is absolutely ludicrous because of three reasons: 1) The wights almost always travel in squads and are often found in the company of a powerful White Walker, 2) You can’t drug or KO a wight because, well, it’s technically dead and doesn’t have consciousness to begin with, and 3) If you need to beat it up every so often to keep it docile, how do you deal with the potential for loss of parts (literally falling of) that are already rotting? And it’s a long, long way to King’s Landing from north of the Wall.
“Smart people don’t go up North looking for the dead,” quipped Tormund to Jon, and it’s a true WTF moment when the wildling barbarian has the most sense among the cultured Westerosi. The “Wost Plan Ever” was a recipe for catastrophe waiting to happen.
So when this happened, the party quickly getting surrounded by what must be the whole of the wight army and then the White Walker commanders, I could only shout at the screen in pained validation: “I TOLD YOU SO!”
So, a few episodes back, Ser Davos Seaworth found Gendry, likely the last bastard of King Robert, in an armory at the ass end of Flea Bottom, bringing an end to the joke among fans that the dude must still be rowing his way back to the capital. In episode 6, he’s now trudging in the frozen wasteland with hardened soldiers and warriors.
This prompts Jon to ask the obviously uncomfortable young man “Ever been North before?” “Never seen snow before,” replied Gendry.
When things go belly up for the party and Jon tells Gendry to “Runback to Eastwatch and tell Danaerys what happened!” the WTF moment is not only the idea of Gendry being able to get back to the castle with just his heels of celerity but it sets off a chain of improbable time loopholes in a world that only has three forms of transport: feet, beasts of burden (including horses and donkey and the such), and dragons. But we’ll get to all that good stuff later.
It’s been opined in forums that Gendry had to run for four to five hours in nearly sub-zero temperatures to travel approximately 60 miles sans food or water. And all that from a guy who hasn’t even snow before. And he had no weapons in a land full of undead polar bears and zombies. Lucky bastard. Technically he could have drunk some of the ice but who has time to properly melt those when you’re doing your level best to Usain Bolt?
Rowing champ of Westeros and, now, also the track champ.
So, after Jon Snow gets submerged under a lake with a frozen surface, this mysterious figure appears from out of nowhere, cutting through the wight horde with his flaming chained mace (or a fiery poi ball) to the rescue of our dear Stark hero.
Why, it’s the half-undead Uncle Benjen, the former ranger prime of Castle Black. Where the fuck did he come from? How did he survive getting past the White Walker commanders? Who knows? There’s no time for explanations!
There’s apparently even less time for Uncle Benjen (the equivalent of the kindly undead Coldhands in the books) to just get on the damn undead horse and escape with his dear nephew. Seriously, Benjen, it would have taken like two seconds to jump on the damn thing. The horse will take two people easy and won’t tire because, you know, IT”S NOT ALIVE.
No! He has to sacrifice himself to the wight army right fucking now. And the last we see of him is his flaming mace getting overwhelmed by wight bodies. Has Benjen’s watch ended? It would seem like it.
ARYA vs SANSA?
So, Arya has previously confronted Sansa about the circumstances of how she got to pen a less than shining letter of traitorous intent to her brother Robb, and also her seeming complicit role in her father’s eventual beheading.
Never mind why Sansa didn’t just burn the letter right away, this new weird sibling rivalry is just off kilter for two people who have been through so much and grown so far into maturity that this spiral into paranoia, in the mind of both Arya and Sansa, is just way out of character. You’d think that after going through the rituals and training of death at the hands of the Faceless Men Arya would be more sympathetic of tragedy and hardship, and you’d think that Sansa, after the trauma of rape and political pawnship would have a more articulate way to communicate with her own sister.
Now there is a legitimate reason to believe that Sansa believes Arya will kill her and needs to put up safeguards for that. I can’t give Littlefinger all the credit for this manipulation but, to b fair, he really does know how to manipulate the natural character weaknesses of people.
Still, it is at best vague what Arya seeks to accomplish by goading Sansa into such a panic. Unless it’s a ruse within a ruse to setup Littlefinger and show Sansa you can’t trust him. That would be master assassin-level perfect.
FLAMING SWORDS = MELTY SWORDS
So, Beric and Thoros of Myr have this ability to run their hands over their swords and voila, it’s a flaming sword! Granted that the explanation to this is the all mighty “it’s magic” but if so, it shouldn’t really give out actual heat or the damn sword would melt (there’s even a bit in the books about Thoros joining a tourney and his sword literally going limp and softening from the sustained heat).
As we all know, this is how forging a sword by a blacksmith works: you heat the metal to high temperature so it’s amenable to getting shaped and hammered. I can buy the sword getting set on fire but I can’t buy that, after days of doing said magic trick, the same sword is still hard enough and sharp enough to kill. Otherwise, that’s damn powerful magic that distorts the very fabric of physics.
Fans say that the showrunners just wanted a lightsaber equivalent for GoT and I tend to agree.
YOU WILL NEVER BREAK THE CHAINS
After Viserion got speared hard by the Night King in a show of Olympic level glory, the wights are seen dragging his huge body from off the lake onto firmer land.
Let’s say the wights had awesome divers and were able to send them to the bottom of the frozen lake and attached the chains to the dragon. But where did they get the damn, gargantuan chains?
Seriously those chains are industrial strength, the kind they use to anchor steel ships. Were they just being carried around all this time by a bunch of resource-couriers way at the back of the wight army? Is there a nearby stash house or HQ where a lot of these tools kept for those “just in case we need to drag a dead dragon from a lake” scenarios? Some of the fan theories insist that the lake likely had a ship underneath it because, in some shots, there appear to be a dock in the area. I don’t buy it.
There is simply too much WTF-ness going on there that fans have latched onto it like Tyrion to a wine bottle.
Or, five days on a frozen lake.
I have character issues with Tyrion (way dumber than previous seasons) and Dany (is she totalitarian or egalitarian?) on this episode but the penultimate WTF moment is how the Magnificent 7, surrounded and trapped on a rock in the middle of a barely frozen lake survives sans water and food (or maybe that’s what the wildling peons were carrying, who knows?) and gets found by Dany and her dragons in record time, after all the lines of communication work out for the best.
Just to recap all the lucky breaks: Gendry has to run from the lake to Eastwatch-by-the-Sea, a raven had to be sent from Eastwatch to Dragontone, and Dany had to travel north of the Wall and search an area where she’s or her dragons have never been to save the hapless M7 just before they get overwhelmed by the dead.
Someone worked out what they say is a plausible time span where it takes less than a week for all those events to get plausibly worked out: “It took about five days for word to get to Dany and for her to get back to them. Which is about how long it would take for the ice to freeze enough to support the army of wights.”
Let’s say all that actually did transpire and the distances and travel times are implausible but not improbable. I still can’t buy how the M7 survived in freezing temperatures for days on a rock, staring down the dead without food or water (we never see them eating, just Thoros drinking his wine and then being dead), and then having enough energy to engage in combat after all that time.
The time-space warps notwithstanding, it takes a lot of energy (ergo, food) to swing a sword in melee. You can reasonably walk and survive on jerky but for full carbs and protein you need to cook meat. Who know, maybe they had Milo in their packs, too?
Never mind that Danaerys didn’t even bother to don passable armor (instead opting for a fab winter queen outfit). Never mind that Dany had zero tactical flight training or evasive maneuvers, which eventually led to the Night King getting a dragon of his own.
How the heck does this guy survive the system shock of being swallowed into a cold, sub-zero lake and not only live, but finds one of the few holes in the freeze, and then pulls himself up, and even has the strength in those numb fingers to grasp his sword? Oh, Jon, you may know nothing, but the Old Gods and the New sure do love you.
Is your body ready for the Season 7 finale?
What are your thoughts coming into tomorrow’s season finale? Tell us your thoughts below!